Lent Reflections @ CEC
Updated: Feb 29, 2020
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Resource: Lent for Everyone: Mark (NT Wright)
SCRIPTURE & DEVOTION: Mark 1:1-20
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Mark 1:1-20; focused on 1.16-20 (Life Application Bible)
Why follow Jesus?
This fascinating, short piece of scripture brings to mind many questions. What was it that compelled Simon (later called Peter), Andrew, James, and John to drop everything in the midst of a busy work day and follow an itinerant teacher into an uncertain future? How could they, seemingly without forethought and in front of their astonished family and friends, instantly abandon their old life so completely? Was it the potential for adventure, the promise of a change from the sameness of daily life as they knew it? Was it the desire for release from the strenuous toil of their current profession? Or was there something about Jesus, something special about the man himself? Could they see it in his demeanor, hear the authority in his voice? What convinced them that following Jesus would be worth the risk of leaving behind their homes, their families, their jobs, everything familiar in their lives?
The Bible does not tell us if any of these men had ever heard Jesus preach. It does not indicate whether they had met Jesus previously or were in the crowd at his baptism. For whatever reason, they were willing to follow him as soon as they heard his call, eager to take him up on his promise to make them “fishers of men”. Perhaps therein lies an answer. They didn’t come to Jesus; he came to them. It was specifically at his invitation that they left their old life behind. He invited them to become part of his ministry, and eventually, his coming kingdom. Jesus sought them out and gave them a purpose that they somehow knew was in line with God’s plan for their lives.
And so it is with us. Just like those Galilean fishermen of so long ago, we each have the opportunity to respond to the personal invitation of Jesus to become part of his world, his ministry, and his kingdom. As we answer his call and allow him into our lives, he leads us into adventures yet undreamed of, all the while walking by our side. At this season of Lent, it is especially appropriate that we once again consider Jesus’ life and ministry, his death on the cross, his resurrection, and that we renew our commitment to follow him into a life richer spiritually than we could possibly have imagined when we made the decision to leave our old life behind.
Wake us up, gracious Lord, by the message of your coming, and help us, in our hearts and our lives, to be ready and to receive your invitation.